What Employees Want: The Great Reimagine

Becoming a great place to work is the aim but how do we get there and what does that really mean for today's employees?

A consistent employee experience is one that all employers are now aspiring to as employees embrace the flexibility between working from home and/or the office. All employees are unique, which lends to the importance of embedding a culture of hyper-personalisation to facilitate heightened engagement and bring continuous improvement to the employee experience. 

The BTN was recently delighted to partner with UKG, for an exclusive roundtable with some of the leading people champions. The open and interactive session was hosted by Ben Gautrey (Managing Director at Great Places to Work) and Joe Slater (Country Manager & Snr. Marketing Director at UKG) which brought about the following takeaways:


ERGs and focus groups are vital for ensuring DEI is at the heart of creating a great place to work for all

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) have become a focal point for companies as they look for new ways to think about and talk about diversity. For companies to be able to create a great place to work for all, they need to ensure that DEI is at the heart of everything they do. The role of Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) has accelerated as a means to create initiatives whereby firms can make a difference. ERGs enable employees to come together, whilst creating that community spirit amongst others and within leadership teams. 

It was mentioned that many organisations run focus groups as a great way of gathering information regarding DEI to facilitate an independent listening ear to your organisation. An organisation's destiny is reliant on the people in the organisation being on the same journey, which is directly related to its Employee Value Proposition (EVP). Listening to the voice of the employees and how they determine what a great place to work is can help them within their business journey. 

For many organisations, the pandemic was the catalyst in taking lessons from the ways of working and how companies can set themselves up for the future. Information gathering and getting your finger on the pulse is sometimes only possible through surveys and focus groups. Firms must be able to ask themselves why is doing something like X or Y so important. Having those surveys allows leaders to understand what works well in the company and what doesn’t.

How have employees responded to the lack of information received from focus groups? It was mentioned that there are differences across diverse populations, especially when it comes to apathy which can be extremely difficult to spot within a hybrid or remote setup and therefore makes it hard to compare to those working in an office. In particular, response rates due to data privacy vary across the world from 80% to 30% in European organisations. Therefore, companies must ensure they can build a relationship with their employees where DEI and trust are at the heart of creating a great place to work for all employees.


Attrition rates and talent programmes help HR leaders improve EX

Employee attrition and retention are like peas in a pod. Despite not being the same, companies must address them as a package deal. Even in the most ideal work conditions, attrition occurs due to external factors that are sometimes out of their control. Many organisations use attrition rates as a source of data to help improve the overall Employee Experience (EX). While it is often difficult to lose employees, attrition can give HR leaders the chance to reevaluate and realign their recruiting and hiring tactics with company goals and values. 

Talent programmes and development are more important in today’s business landscape than ever. Since the pandemic, organisations are facing many challenges posed by the unstoppable march of technology. Upskilling and reskilling the workforce may become the only option for most companies. Investing in talent development now is bound to pay off in future years. Many firms track their talent on both a monthly and quarterly basis as a way to understand whether they are gaining a return on investment in their talent programmes, which they then use to match to the next role. 

There was a point of reference about the use of PowerBI as a way to look at attrition and identify what attrition looks like for people who have gone through management development programmes compared to those who have not. Some leaders look at engagement and performance to understand what that correlation is. Usually, the highly engaged teams are the ones that perform better. This is because it gives employees clear expectations and provides them with the tools and support that are needed to do their best work and increase productivity thus improving employee experience. 


Flexible working is the business benefit at the top of almost every employee’s wishlist

The role of flexible working is high on the agenda for all employees from potential candidates to long-term employees. Some firms have gone further with their flexible working policy to provide a 60-day working from anywhere day which has become a hugely appreciated policy for many. However, offering such benefits comes with many challenges for organisations such as taxation complications.

There is a common theme of less of a desire for people to go back into the office, resulting in many companies now holding back or reducing their physical office space. Call centres are downsizing and the younger generation is finding it difficult to learn and are therefore losing the opportunity to shine when working in the office. This then makes their onboarding experience very different from those who have worked for many years. 

The pandemic has forced companies to open their eyes to the fact that employees can work from home efficiently. However pre-pandemic, many organisations had a presenteeism culture where if they were not seen, physically, on the office floor then the likeliness that they would progress would be low. Despite this, the pandemic has forced many organisations to launch a flexible working approach, where in some cases we are seeing 85% of employees working from home. There have also been massive improvements in terms of family policies, compressed hours, stage-of-life report support, neurodiversity, talent programmes, lunchtime hackathon and more. Overall, compared to those without remote work access, it has been proved that access to remote work increases employee well-being, productivity, innovation and inclusion. 


Today’s connected, global society does not need workers to be office-bound, but rather to allow them options to decide how and where their work gets done. UKG helps organisations, big or small, to find better solutions that inspire their people and elevate the workplace experience. It has been proven that people can work in ways that best support their work-life effectiveness, which again boosts productivity and reduces turnover.



About UKG

At UKG, our purpose is people. As strong believers in the power of culture and belonging as the secret to success, we champion great workplaces and build lifelong partnerships with our customers to show what’s possible when businesses invest in their people. Born from a historic merger that created one of the world’s leading HCM cloud companies, our Life-work Technology approach to HR, payroll, and workforce management solutions for all people helps more than 70,000 organizations around the globe and across every industry anticipate and adapt to their employees’ needs beyond just work. To learn more, visit ukg.com.